Heather Johnson

MA, Registered Member MBACP
heather headshot

I am an experienced counsellor and hypnotherapist originally from the United States. I currently live in Pembrokeshire, Wales with my husband and two sons.  In my private practice I integrate humanistic person-centered counselling with the insights of Eastern & Western wisdom traditions. My approach is grounded and practical while also affirming the mystery at the heart of being human.

My training in counselling is based in the person-centered approach of Carl Rogers. I also integrate aspects of emotion-focused therapy into my practice, helping you to recognize your feelings and make choices around them. I am trained in hypnotherapy as well which focuses on changing compulsive behaviors and subconscious habits.  I feel that what I offer is best suited for those who have basic psychological stability, but who may be experiencing particular challenges such as mild depression, anxiety, loss, periods of change and inner turmoil, uncertainty about life direction, or spiritual and existential concerns.

In my own life and my work with others, I’ve found that one of the most liberating shifts we can make is to fully accept our imperfections and flaws.  Allowing yourself to be exactly as you are and feel what you feel frees up a tremendous amount of life energy. This is often the first step in resolving longstanding anxiety and inner conflict.  Accepting your self does not mean that you give up trying to improve yourself or your life– it just means that you allow yourself the entire range of emotions and human experiences that you are having, rather than struggling to be something different and better all the time.   I believe that our imperfections, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies are part of the beauty of who we are, and when they are treated with love and compassion, they can become a source of great wisdom and strength.

Link to some of my writings (poems & essays)

Here is a brief sketch of some of my professional experience and training which informs my counselling practice:

Qualifications/Training

British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, Registered Member MBACP

Master of Arts (magna cum laude)  in Counselling & Human Services (2001), Montclair State University (New Jersey, USA)

Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude)  in Sociology/Women’s Studies (1999), Montclair State University

Certified Hypnotherapist, National Guild of Hypnotists (2002), USA

Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner (2010) The HypnoBirthing Institute, USA

Shared Path School of Pastoral and Spiritual Care (2000) (New York, USA)—An 18 month certificate program in interfaith pastoral care

Suluk Academy for Sufi studies (2007) (New York, USA)—An intensive 4 year program in Sufi studies and inner practices

Certified Yoga Teacher, Ashtanga Rishiculture Yoga  (2013) Yoga Satsanga Ashram, Wales

Mindfulness training, (2013) 8-week course in Mindfulness as developed by Jon Kabat Zinn

 

Career Highlights

  • Private practice as a counsellor, coach & hypnotherapist for past 14 years
  • HypnoBirthing Instructor for past 5 years
  • Light Spirit UK, Director and facilitator —a not for profit cooperative company with the mission of supporting individuals and communities through positive living skills. In 2011-12,  I delivered personal development and confidence building workshops to the unemployed in Pembrokeshire as part of a project funded by the European Social Fund.
  • Suluk Academy for Sufi Studies, where I served as Administrator for 3 years. This was a new school founded by Pir Zia Inayat Khan focusing on ancient and modern Sufi teachings as well as practices of meditation, contemplation, light, sound, and heart-based speaking and listening.
  • Counselling university students for 10 years at various institutions, such as the Center for Equity & Diversity at Montclair State University. Here I offered workshops on multicultural and women’s issues to the campus community as well as counselling and advising students.